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Beware - read the reviews before you purchase. Contains Spoilers.
on 9 June 2011
I have respect for Babette Cole and the publishers of this book, and it may be appropriate in some circumstances - but certainly not for all children of divorced parents. Note also that all of the characters are caucasion.
The book starts by explaining that the two children in the book have 'problem parents'. It goes on to explain the things that annoy each parent about the other - to make clear that living in the same house is too difficult for them. It frustrated me to see quite stereotypical archetypes here - with mum nagging dad...
The book continues by explaining that the parents have different opinions about everything and then says that living together makes the parents dislike each other, and because of their ugly thoughts, they become uglier people.
The parents then start playing (rather nasty) tricks on each other, which causes the children worry about the adults' behaviour and about whether they are to blame. Sad and confused, they have a meeting at school to discuss 'problem parents' with other kids - at which it's decided that it's not the kids fault 'if their parents behave like five-year-olds.'
The upshot of all this is that the kids arrange an un-marriage, after which they bulldoze the family home - replacing it with two separate homes for their parents (with a tunnel between them for the kids). With this arrangement, the kids get two of everything, and they also get two happy parents - living apart.
There will be some divorces where this book is either tame, or a good representation of adult behavious, and for such cases, perhaps this book would be useful. However, in a more amicable situation, this is rather too much and would be most upsetting for a child. (I'd suggest this is aimed at the pre-8 yrs old market).